Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

The Best Panama City Photography Spots


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Amabel Gillett



Welcome to Panama City, a vibrant metropolis nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the tropical rainforests of Central America. With its rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking landscapes, Panama City offers an abundance of captivating photography opportunities. Whether you’re an amateur photographer looking to capture stunning shots or a professional seeking new and unique angles, this article will guide you through the best photography spots in Panama City.


From the historic Casco Viejo district to the iconic Panama Canal, each location boasts its own charm and beauty. With a mix of architectural wonders, natural landscapes, and cultural landmarks, you’ll find plenty of subjects to ignite your creativity. So grab your camera, charge your batteries, and get ready to explore the top photography spots in Panama City.


In this article, we’ll delve into ten must-visit locations and provide tips on how to capture the best shots. Whether you prefer urban cityscapes, lush greenery, or captivating panoramic views, we have something for everyone.


So, without further ado, let’s embark on an exciting journey through Panama City’s most picturesque spots. Don’t forget to take your time, immerse yourself in the surroundings, and capture the unique essence of this incredible city.


Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo, also known as the Old Quarter, is a historic neighborhood that showcases the rich architectural heritage of Panama City. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a melting pot of colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and charming plazas that are filled with photo-worthy opportunities.


As you explore Casco Viejo, be sure to capture the vibrant facades of the colonial-style buildings. The mix of Spanish, French, and Caribbean influences offers a unique backdrop for your photos. The architectural details, such as wrought-iron balconies and wooden shutters, add a touch of old-world charm to the streets.


Don’t miss out on photographing the iconic landmarks in Casco Viejo, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Plaza de la Independencia. The cathedral’s neoclassical façade and the square’s impressive architecture provide great opportunities for capturing grand architecture.


For panoramic views of the city, head to the rooftop bars or hotels in Casco Viejo. From here, you can capture stunning shots of the cityscape, with the modern skyline juxtaposed against the historic buildings of the Old Quarter.


One of the best times to photograph Casco Viejo is during golden hour, just before sunset. The warm, soft light casts a beautiful glow, enhancing the colors and textures of the buildings. As the sun sets, the sky turns into a canvas of vibrant hues, providing a dreamy backdrop for your photographs.


Aside from the architectural beauty, Casco Viejo is also known for its lively atmosphere, street art, and bustling local markets. Capture candid shots of locals going about their daily lives, or immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the neighborhood’s streets.


Whether you’re exploring the narrow alleyways or strolling along the waterfront promenade, Casco Viejo offers endless photography opportunities that showcase the charm and character of Panama City’s historic heart.


Panama Canal

No visit to Panama City would be complete without capturing the magnificence of the Panama Canal. Considered one of the greatest engineering achievements in the world, the canal is not only a feat of human ingenuity but also a captivating subject for photographers.


There are several vantage points to photograph the Panama Canal. One popular spot is the Miraflores Locks Visitors Center, where you can witness ships passing through the locks. From the observation decks, you can capture the dramatic scale of the locks and the immense size of the ships as they navigate the canal.


To add a different perspective to your photos, consider taking a boat tour along the canal. This allows you to capture close-up shots of the ships, as well as the lush tropical surroundings. Look out for wildlife such as monkeys, toucans, and crocodiles, which often reside in the canal’s ecosystem.


If you’re looking for a panoramic view of the canal, head to the Cerro Ancón viewpoint. Located on the outskirts of the city, this vantage point offers sweeping views of the canal as it cuts through the lush green landscape. The contrast between the man-made canal and the natural surroundings creates a visually stunning composition.


To capture the canal’s history and importance, visit the Panama Canal Museum at the Casco Viejo district. Through exhibits and historical artifacts, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the canal’s impact on global trade. Don’t forget to photograph the museum’s unique architecture, which reflects the shape of a ship.


For a truly unique experience, consider timing your visit to coincide with the transit of a large vessel through the canal. This allows you to witness the locks in action and capture the excitement and magnitude of the canal’s operations.


Whether you’re capturing the intricate details of the locks, the scale of the ships, or the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, the Panama Canal offers endless photographic opportunities. Don’t miss the chance to document this iconic symbol of Panama’s history and progress.


Amador Causeway

For stunning waterfront views and a vibrant atmosphere, look no further than the Amador Causeway. Built with rocks excavated during the construction of the Panama Canal, this scenic causeway connects the mainland with four small islands in the Panama Bay.


Photographing the Amador Causeway offers a unique combination of natural beauty and urban skyline. The causeway is lined with palm trees, making it a perfect spot for capturing the tropical ambiance. As you stroll along the waterfront promenade, you’ll have a picturesque view of the city skyline across the bay.


The causeway also provides a great opportunity to capture panoramic shots of the famous Bridge of the Americas. Take your time to find the perfect spot and wait for the golden hour to capture the bridge against the colorful sky during sunset.


Aside from the stunning views, the Amador Causeway is also known for its outdoor activities and entertainment. Capture the energy of locals and tourists biking, jogging, or rollerblading along the causeway. Consider taking candid shots of families enjoying a picnic or friends gathering for a meal at one of the many restaurants and bars.


While exploring the Amador Causeway, make sure to visit the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Punta Culebra Nature Center. Here, you’ll find a variety of native animals and plants, providing excellent subjects for wildlife photography. Don’t miss the chance to capture shots of colorful birds, playful monkeys, and unique marine life.


Another highlight of the Amador Causeway is the Flamenco Island Marina. Photograph the luxury yachts and sailboats docked at the marina, creating a glamorous backdrop against the sparkling waters of the bay.


When photographing the Amador Causeway, keep an eye out for unique perspectives and interesting details. Capture the reflections of the city lights on the water’s surface, or focus on the patterns and textures of the pebbles on the beach.


Whether you’re capturing the breathtaking views, the vibrant atmosphere, or the abundance of wildlife, the Amador Causeway offers endless opportunities to create stunning and memorable photographs. So grab your camera and soak in the beauty of this scenic location in Panama City.


Metropolitan Natural Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Metropolitan Natural Park. Located just a short distance from Panama City, this expansive tropical rainforest serves as a sanctuary for countless plant and animal species.


Photographing the Metropolitan Natural Park provides a unique opportunity to capture the beauty of Panama’s natural landscapes. Lace up your hiking boots and venture into the lush trails, where you’ll find cascading waterfalls, serene streams, and an abundance of vibrant flora.


One of the main attractions of the park is the lookout point at Cerro Cedro, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of Panama City and the surrounding rainforest. Capture the stunning contrast between the urban skyline and the lush greenery, especially during sunrise or sunset when the light adds a magical touch to the scene.


The park is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and a variety of exotic birds. Keep your camera ready to photograph these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. Remember to maintain a safe distance and avoid feeding or disturbing the wildlife.


Macro photography enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to capture the intricate details of the park’s plant life. From vibrant orchids to delicate ferns, there are endless subjects to showcase the incredible biodiversity of this tropical paradise.


To enhance your photographic experience, consider joining guided nature walks or wildlife photography tours led by knowledgeable experts. They can offer insights into the best locations and help you spot hidden gems that may otherwise go unnoticed.


Remember to bring ample water, insect repellent, and comfortable hiking gear when exploring the Metropolitan Natural Park. Respect the environment by leaving no trace and follow any park guidelines to maintain its pristine beauty for future visitors.


Whether you’re seeking sweeping panoramic views, up-close encounters with wildlife, or macro shots of intricate flora, the Metropolitan Natural Park has it all. Immerse yourself in the serenity of nature and capture the enchanting beauty of this natural oasis in the heart of Panama City.


Cinta Costera

If you’re looking for a place to capture the vibrant energy of Panama City while enjoying stunning waterfront views, the Cinta Costera is the perfect photography spot. This scenic coastal strip stretches along the Bay of Panama, offering a picturesque backdrop of the city skyline.


The Cinta Costera is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. It features well-maintained walking and biking paths, lush green areas, and numerous recreational facilities. As you explore, you’ll discover various photo opportunities that highlight the city’s modern architecture and the natural beauty of the ocean.


For the best views of the city, head to the Mirador Cinta Costera. This elevated viewpoint provides an expansive panorama of the skyline, spanning from the iconic skyline of Punta Paitilla to the historic Casco Viejo district. Capture the city’s modern skyscrapers gleaming in the sunlight and the vast expanse of the ocean as it stretches to the horizon.


The Cinta Costera is not just about capturing the urban landscape; it also offers a chance to photograph the playful interaction between people and their surroundings. Take candid shots of families enjoying picnics, couples strolling hand in hand, or friends playing sports on the open grassy areas.


As you walk along the promenade, you’ll come across sculptures, art installations, and colorful murals that add a touch of creativity and culture to the surroundings. These provide excellent subjects for capturing unique and eye-catching images.


For a different perspective, consider photographing the Cinta Costera during sunset. The sky transforms into a canvas of warm hues, casting a magical glow over the cityscape. Capture the silhouettes of palm trees and people against the vibrant colors, creating a dramatic and captivating composition.


Keep in mind that the Cinta Costera can get crowded, especially during weekends and evenings. To avoid capturing unwanted distractions in your photos, consider visiting during quieter times or finding unique angles that highlight specific elements of interest.


Whether you’re capturing the dynamic cityscape, the lively atmosphere, or the natural beauty of the ocean, the Cinta Costera offers a myriad of photography opportunities that portray the essence of Panama City. So grab your camera, soak in the tropical vibes, and let your creativity unfold along this stunning coastal strip.


Ancon Hill

Rising above the cityscape of Panama City, Ancon Hill is a natural oasis that offers stunning panoramic views and a peaceful escape from the bustling streets below. As the highest point in the city, it provides a prime vantage point to capture breathtaking vistas of the entire metropolitan area.


Hiking to the top of Ancon Hill is a must for photographers seeking dramatic landscapes and sweeping cityscapes. The trail is relatively easy, with well-marked paths, making it accessible for all fitness levels. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with ever-expanding views of the city, the Panama Canal, and the lush surrounding rainforest.


One of the best times to capture the beauty of Ancon Hill is during sunrise or sunset. The golden light bathes the city in a warm glow, creating a magical ambiance that will make your photographs come alive. The colorful sky, coupled with the silhouettes of the city’s skyscrapers, creates a captivating composition.


Aside from the breathtaking views, Ancon Hill is home to diverse plant and animal species. Keep your camera ready to capture shots of colorful birds, such as toucans and parrots, as they flit through the canopy. You may even come across sloths and monkeys as you explore the trails.


Another interesting element to photograph on Ancon Hill is the abandoned buildings of the former US military base. The remnants of this history provide a unique juxtaposition of man-made structures against the backdrop of the lush rainforest.


When photographing on Ancon Hill, take the time to explore different vantage points and experiment with different compositions. Look for leading lines, interesting foreground elements, or natural framing techniques to add depth and interest to your shots.


It’s important to bring water, sun protection, and comfortable shoes when hiking Ancon Hill. As a protected area, it’s crucial to respect the environment by staying on designated trails and avoiding disturbing any wildlife or plants.


Whether you’re an avid landscape photographer, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply seeking incredible panoramic views of Panama City, Ancon Hill has it all. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while capturing stunning shots that encapsulate the charm of this tropical paradise.



Located at the entrance of the Panama Canal, the Biomuseo is a visually striking museum dedicated to showcasing Panama’s rich biodiversity and its importance on a global scale. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the vibrant and colorful building itself is a masterpiece and makes for a captivating subject for photographers.


As you enter the Biomuseo, you’ll be greeted by a series of thought-provoking and immersive exhibits that highlight the incredible diversity of flora and fauna found in Panama. The museum provides a unique opportunity to learn about Panama’s ecosystems, from the tropical rainforests to the coral reefs, and the impact they have on the planet.


Use your camera to capture the intricate details of the museum’s architectural design. The sweeping curves, bright colors, and innovative use of materials create a visually stunning backdrop for your photographs. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to highlight the unique shapes and forms of the building.


The outdoor spaces surrounding the Biomuseo also offer great photography opportunities. The well-maintained gardens feature a variety of native plants, providing a colorful and natural setting for your shots. Look out for butterflies and birds that are attracted to the lush greenery, adding an element of movement and life to your images.


For a more artistic approach, focus on capturing the reflections of the building in the nearby water features. Play with symmetries and juxtapositions to create intriguing compositions that highlight the fusion of nature and architecture.


Inside the Biomuseo, take your time to explore each exhibit and photograph the interactive displays. From life-sized animal models to multimedia presentations, there’s plenty to capture that will showcase the fascinating biodiversity and conservation efforts in Panama.


Consider visiting the Biomuseo during different times of the day to take advantage of the ever-changing light. The warm sunlight during golden hour can cast a beautiful glow on the building, while the dramatic shadows during sunset can create interesting and dynamic compositions.


When photographing in the Biomuseo, be mindful of other visitors and the guidelines set by the museum. Avoid using flash or tripods if they are not allowed, and respect the artwork and exhibits while capturing your shots.


Whether you’re capturing the architectural brilliance of the Biomuseo or the captivating exhibits inside, it’s impossible to leave without a collection of stunning and thought-provoking photographs that showcase the intersection of art, nature, and science.


Plaza de Francia

Located in the historic Casco Viejo district, the Plaza de Francia is a captivating photography spot that pays homage to the French influence in Panama’s history. This beautiful square, with its neoclassical arches and stunning views of the Panama Bay, offers a perfect blend of architecture, history, and natural beauty.


As you enter the Plaza de Francia, you’ll be greeted by the impressive Fleur-de-lis Obelisk, which stands as a symbol of the French presence during the construction of the Panama Canal. This striking monument not only adds a sense of grandeur to the square but also serves as a unique focal point for your photographs.


Take advantage of the surrounding architecture to capture the contrast between the historic buildings and the modern skyline across the bay. Many of the buildings in the plaza reflect the colonial style, with their colorful facades and ornate details providing a charming backdrop for your shots.


Don’t forget to explore the Balboa Avenue promenade that borders the Plaza de Francia. This waterfront area offers stunning views of the Panama Bay and the skyscrapers of the Financial District. Take your time to photograph the ocean expanse, capturing the waves crashing against the shore or the colorful sunset reflecting off the water.


For a unique perspective, consider visiting the Plaza de Francia during the blue hour, which occurs just before sunrise or after sunset. The soft, diffused light during this time creates a serene and ethereal atmosphere, adding a touch of magic to your photographs.


Aside from the architectural beauty, the Plaza de Francia is also known for its rich history. Take time to read the informational plaques or hire a local guide to learn more about the French influence and the role they played in the construction of the Panama Canal. This knowledge will add depth and context to your images.


When photographing in the plaza, pay attention to the details. Capture the intricate patterns of the wrought-iron railings, the textures of the cobblestone streets, or the reflections in the nearby water features. These smaller elements can contribute to a more comprehensive and visually appealing composition.


As with any public space, be considerate of other visitors and respect the surroundings. Avoid causing disruptions or blocking pathways while you capture your shots.


Incorporate the beauty of history, architecture, and nature into your photography by visiting the Plaza de Francia. Capture the essence of Panama’s French connection and create stunning images that tell the story of this significant landmark in Panama City.


Panama Viejo

Step back in time and immerse yourself in Panama’s rich history at Panama Viejo, the archaeological site that preserves the ruins of the original Panama City. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a treasure trove for photographers, offering a glimpse into the country’s colonial past and the remnants of this once-thriving city.


As you explore Panama Viejo, you’ll come across iconic landmarks like the Cathedral Tower, the Church of San José, and the remnants of old colonial buildings. These ancient structures provide a fascinating subject for photography, showcasing the architectural styles and influences of different eras.


One of the highlights of Panama Viejo is the panoramic view from the top of the Cathedral Tower. This elevated vantage point allows you to capture the contrast between the historic ruins and the modern skyline of Panama City in the distance. Sunset is a particularly magical time to photograph, as the golden hues bathe the cityscape in a warm glow.


For a different perspective, venture closer to the ruins and focus your lens on the details. Capture the weathered textures of the crumbling walls, the intricate carvings on the facades, or the delicate patterns of the ceramic tiles. These close-up shots add a sense of intimacy and bring the ancient city to life.


Another unique aspect of Panama Viejo is the archaeological park surrounding the ruins. This lush green space offers a tranquil setting and provides opportunities for capturing the juxtaposition of nature against the remnants of the city’s past. Look out for the colorful flowers, the graceful palms, and the occasional wildlife that may appear as you explore the park.


While photographing in the archaeological site, be mindful of preserving the integrity of the ruins. Keep a respectful distance from the ancient structures and avoid touching or climbing on them. Adhering to these guidelines ensures that future generations can continue to appreciate and study this important historical site.


Whether you’re capturing the grandeur of the Cathedral Tower, the intricate details of the ruins, or the serene beauty of the surrounding park, Panama Viejo offers a captivating setting for photographers. Let your creativity soar as you document the fascinating history and architectural heritage of this remarkable site.


Calzada de Amador

The Calzada de Amador, also known as Amador Causeway, is a picturesque waterfront strip connecting the mainland with four small islands at the entrance of the Panama Canal. With its stunning views, recreational activities, and vibrant atmosphere, Calzada de Amador is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, offering plenty of opportunities for photographers.


When photographing Calzada de Amador, one of the highlights is capturing the iconic Bridge of the Americas, which spans the entrance to the Panama Canal. This architectural marvel serves as a dramatic focal point, especially during sunset when the golden light bathes the bridge and the surrounding area, creating a magical ambiance.


As you stroll along Calzada de Amador, take in the beautiful waterfront views of the Panama Bay and the modern skyline of Panama City. The serene setting is enhanced by the backdrop of sailboats and luxury yachts docked at the marinas. Capture the reflections of the boats on the calm waters or wait for the mesmerizing colors of a sunrise or sunset to enhance your images.


The Calzada de Amador is also known for its vibrant culinary scene. Along the strip, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and cafes offering both local and international cuisine. Capture shots of mouthwatering dishes, or photograph people enjoying a leisurely meal while taking in the stunning views of the bay.


For a different perspective, consider renting a bicycle or rollerblades and capturing the energetic atmosphere. Photograph people biking, jogging, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the promenade. This allows you to capture candid and dynamic shots that showcase the lively ambiance of Calzada de Amador.


Don’t forget to explore the nearby Amador Causeway Islands, such as Flamenco Island and Perico Island. These islands offer additional opportunities for photography, with beautiful beaches, lush greenery, and panoramic views of the city skyline and the bay.


When visiting Calzada de Amador, keep in mind that the area can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. Consider visiting during weekdays or early mornings to avoid large crowds and capture serene images.


With its stunning views, vibrant atmosphere, and diverse subjects to capture, Calzada de Amador is a photographer’s paradise. Soak in the beauty of the bay, the skyline, and the lively energy as you explore this charming waterfront strip.



Panama City is a photographer’s dream, offering a diverse range of captivating and picturesque spots to explore. From the historic charm of Casco Viejo to the modern marvels of the Panama Canal, each location has its own unique beauty and story to tell. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, there is something for everyone to capture in this vibrant and dynamic city.


Through the lens of your camera, you can capture the architectural wonders of Casco Viejo, with its colorful facades and cobblestone streets. You can document the grandeur of the Panama Canal, with its massive locks and the awe-inspiring vessels that pass through. You can showcase the natural beauty of the Metropolitan Natural Park, with its lush rainforest and diverse wildlife. And you can capture the energy of the cityscape from the Cinta Costera, with its stunning waterfront views and vibrant atmosphere.


Throughout your photographic journey in Panama City, remember to explore different perspectives, seek out unique details, and utilize the play of light and shadow to truly bring your images to life. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and compositions to create visually impactful photographs.


As you venture into each photography spot, be mindful of the local surroundings and respect any guidelines or restrictions in place to preserve the beauty of these locations for future generations. Make sure to carry all necessary equipment, including extra batteries and memory cards, to ensure you don’t miss any special moments.


In conclusion, Panama City offers an abundance of photography opportunities that blend history, culture, nature, and stunning architecture. Be it capturing the old-world charm of Casco Viejo, the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal, the serenity of the Metropolitan Natural Park, or the vibrant energy of the Cinta Costera, each spot presents a unique aesthetic and narrative for you to document through your lens. So, grab your camera and explore the wonders of Panama City, letting your creativity and passion for photography soar.